It started with the racist and childish tweets of EMT Joseph Cassano, the son of FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano who continued to deny that there was a culture of racism and unprofessionalism.
Then the NY Post revealed the racist and unprofessional tweets of EMS Station 57 Lieutenant Timothy Dluhos. The FDNY promptly suspended the Lieutenant without pay, and inside sources say that the FDNY Bureau of Investigation and Trials (BITS) has been redirected to perform a Social Media Spanish Inquisition of the incoming class of recruits, and then to move on to the current workforce for anything that may embarrass the department. FDNY EMT Local 2507 is reportedly telling their members to stay off of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Now, the NY Post once again has identified Twitter streams, blog postings, and Facebook Pages featuring patient photos from members of FDNY EMS and others. While this latest article is continuing to build on the fervor against Social Media in FDNY, they also cite a photo used on the Facebook Page EMT/Paramedic. This continues to prove that Facebook Pages, unlike personal profiles or Facebook Groups that can be made private, are open for public consumption and therefore public interpretation. This places Pages Administrators with a greater responsibility than many of them realize or practice. Unfortunately, the FDNY is taking the heat for that Facebook Page‘s activity in New York.
So is this really a Social Media problem, or is this a problem of plain ignorance? I’m going to say this is a problem of plain ignorance. There has been plenty published and posted about responsible social media use. The fact these users are too ignorant to perhaps do some reading prior to spouting off is not the problem of Social Media, it is a problem of the user.
More importantly, for an organization that indoctrinates its recruits that it is “the best EMS Service in the world“, why are the allowing their members to be ignorant of the potential consequences? Why has it taken them this long to review their Social Media Policies? Why are they stuck in the mentality of old?
Oh, right, 100 years of tradition unimpeded by progress.
Maybe if they spent less on the chest beating, they could take the time to teach their recruits what this job is REALLY about.
Service to others, above all else.
I wonder what the NY Post is going to dig up next week…